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Galaxies 800 Million Years after the Big Bang Seen with the Atacama Large Millimetre Array

Renske Smit

University of Cambridge

ABSTRACT: The identification of galaxies in the first billion years after the Big Bang presents a challenge for even the largest optical telescopes. When the Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA) started science operations in 2011 it presented a tantalising opportunity to identify and characterise these first sources of light in a new window of the electromagnetic spectrum. While scientists have struggled in the past few years to obtain strong sub-millimetre signals from galaxies in the earliest epoch of cosmic time, we have recently successfully identified new sources in this epoch using ALMA. Moreover, we study the gas kinematics of these distant sources for the first time and find that these galaxies likely already form rotating disks, such as seen in the star-forming galaxies much later in the Universe.